Frauenbad - Arnulf Rainer Museum

Josefsplatz 5

The sulphur springs of the former Frauenbad (Ladies’ Bath) and Karolinenbad (Caroline Bath) had probably already been used by the Romans. In 1357 the Frauenquelle is recorded in a document. It originated under the high altar of the Gothic church Zur seligen Jungfrau (At the Blessed Virgin), built around 1260, hence the name "Frauenquelle" or "Frauenbad". These baths were built right next to the church. In 1531 Emperor Ferdinand I donated the baths to the city as a kind of compensation for the devastation the Ottoman-Turks had caused in Baden in 1529. In 1697 Emperor Leopold I then decreed that this bath should be reserved for the nobility alone. During the great city fire in 1812, the old Frauenbad was completely destroyed.  One year earlier -1811- the gothic church "Zur seligen Jungfrau", also called "Frauenkirche", had been demolished because of its alleged dilapidation. In place of the church and the destroyed Frauenbad, the present Frauenbad was built in 1821 by the architect Karl Ritter von Moreau. During the reconstruction of the baths in 1878, the old façade was left in place. When all of the municipal baths were closed after the opening of the central "Kurmittelhaus" (Spa treatment centre), the former building of the "Fraubad" was used as an exhibition space. In 1993/94 the old bath building was generously renovated and converted and on November 4, 1994 the exhibition "House of Artists in the Frauenbad" opened its doors to a new future. (Planning DI Werner E. Nedoschill).

Nowadays, the Frauenbad houses the Arnulf Rainer Museum with a bi-annual changing exhibition of contemporary artists.